“We hurt people by being too busy. Too busy to notice their needs. Too busy to drop that note of comfort or encouragement or assurance of love. Too busy to listen when someone needs to talk. Too busy to care.”
“The smallest package in the world is a person who is all wrapped up in himself.”
“Gratitude is one of the greatest Christian virtues; ingratitude, one of the most vicious sins.”
“Grumbling and gratitude are, for the child of God, in conflict. Be grateful and you won’t grumble. Grumble and you won’t be grateful.”
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is constantly calling us to “Come!” He wants to draw us nearer to God’s presence. But sin separates. Let me be more specific and more personal: My sin can make me believe I can’t come closer to God.
In Psalm 99:8, notice how the psalmist focuses first on God’s forgiveness, and then on His punishment. It’s as though he is saying, “Yes, God punishes sin, but He is first and foremost a forgiving God”—
…You were to Israel a forgiving God, though You punished their misdeeds. (Psalm 99:8)
God is slow to anger, but He must punish sin. His punishment is always to encourage reconciliation. He wants to remove the sin that separates us. This has always been His focus since the very first sin.
In fact the next psalm celebrates coming into God’s presence with joy—
This should encourage me all the more to quickly confess my sin and repent from it, so that I can once again answer the Holy Spirit’s call to come deeper into God’s presence.
But I want to make the case for practicing gratitude all year long!
There are emotional, physical, psychological and relational benefits to being a thanks-filled person. Truly those with grateful hearts have strong, healthy hearts … both physically and emotionally.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense out of our past, brings peace for today, and create a vision for tomorrow.” —John Maxwell
Please join me the next two Sundays at Calvary Assembly of God as I share some of the medical research and biblical truths that will reveal the year-round, whole-person benefits of being grateful.
Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
Does that describe you? Sadly, it’s describing fewer and fewer of us today. But saddest of all: Very few Christians describe themselves as being content!
But godliness with contentment is great gain. …If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:6, 8)
Both godliness and contentment are choices we must make. I choose to be godly, and I choose to be content. The default—the natural course for us—is selfishness. The pull toward my gain and my pleasure is strong. So I must exert great energy to pursue godliness; I must make the conscious decision to be content.
Give us this day our daily bread should be the prayer request in the morning.
Thank You, God, for providing food and clothing for today should be the prayer of thanks in the evening.
Today if you have more than food and clothing, how much more blessed you are!
Choose godliness. Choose contentment. And watch and see God provide great gain for you!
I did it! One year and 1095 unique things for which I am thankful. It was a great exercise which I may do again in the future. For now, I’m contemplating how I’d like to handle my next foray into recording areas of gratitude. Below is the original list from November 2009 through November 2010.
I’m attempting to find three unique things every day for one year for which I am thankful. This will total up to 1095 items at the end of the year. If you’d like to try this, you can try to list just one item or two items every day. Otherwise, feel free to follow along with me.